EA Sports WRC

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X
Genre: Racing
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Codemasters
Release Date: Nov. 3, 2023

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'EA Sports WRC' Shows Off Gameplay, Realism, Authenticity, Improvements, New Features And Car List - Screens & Trailer

by Rainier on Sept. 21, 2023 @ 3:05 p.m. PDT

EA Sports WRC, the official game of the FIA World Rally Championship, is the first truly next-generation rally game and the quintessential title for sim-racing enthusiasts.

Combining the power of the Unreal Engine with the DiRT Rally series physics, EA Sports WRC delivers longer, more detailed stages than previously possible, with 18* official FIA World Rally Championship locations and over 600km of unforgiving asphalt, gravel, and snow stages. The game also boasts 10 current WRC, WRC2, and Junior WRC vehicles and 68 of the most iconic rally cars spanning 60 years of the sport. Working together with official WRC teams and manufacturers, such as Ford, Toyota, and Hyundai, each vehicle is built to tackle every challenge they'll face throughout the season. The hybrid-powered 4WD Rally1 cars are some of the fastest in the sport's history, capable of incredible speeds while tackling gravity-defying jumps, deteriorating surfaces, and adverse weather.

The advanced Dynamic Handling System refines Codemasters’ original model and gives players the most realistic off-road experience to date. Taking feedback from drivers, including former FIA Junior WRC title contender and 2023 FIA European Rally Championship ERC3 champion, and game designer Jon Armstrong, players can choose a professional driver set-up mirroring the experience drivers encounter every race week. New players can personalise the handling, enabling them to make adjustments to help them master the ultimate player versus environment off-road challenge. The realism extends to audio, with each car intricately replicated, and new pace notes, including simplified commands for rookie drivers, give much-needed information to the player as they battle through each stage.

The video covers gameplay and handling innovations introduced by Codemasters and looks at the technical advancements Unreal Engine has unlocked for stage development.

Compete across 18 classes in 78 of the greatest rally machines ever made, covering the entire history of the sport. Take on the toughest roads with world-famous manufacturers, or forge a new path by building your very own rally car.

Heritage and Experience

EA Sports WRC is built on the foundations of over 25 years of off-road videogame heritage from development studio Codemasters. The team’s previous rally game, DIRT Rally 2.0, paved the way for a new generation of rally game running on the Unreal Engine.

Moving to the Unreal Engine has afforded the team greater freedom to create the biggest rally stages in Codemasters’ history, with the longest routes spanning over 30km - roughly twice as long as those seen in previous titles. In total, EA Sports WRC features over 600km of unique roads, almost double what was available in DiRT Rally 2.0.

Greater Realism

EA Sports WRC features over 200 stages across 17 real-world WRC locations, reflecting the WRC calendar. An 18th location - Central Europe Rally - that’s being raced in the sport for the first time, will be coming later with a free post-launch update.The locations featured in-game are some of the most realistic that the team at Codemasters has ever built, with each location featuring replicas of actual roads. For example, Rally Monte Carlo’s Col de Turini has been intricately replicated in-game, as has Rally México’s iconic El Chocolate, Rally Portugal’s Fafe, and many more.

Rally Authenticity

The 2023 Rally1 cars feature a complex hybrid system in-game, just like in the real sport. Players will be tasked with charging the battery by braking hard into a corner, and choosing when to deploy that extra power for more speed by getting back on the throttle.

Adjusting the behaviour of this hybrid system and finding the right balance for each stage will be the key to success. Whether it's opting for an aggressive high-power strategy that drains the battery quicker or a more cautious approach at the cost of ultimate speed, these are the decisions that have to be made before each rally stage.

Dynamic Handling System

EA Sports WRC’s Dynamic Handling System gives players an authentic driving experience across all forms of terrain. Using the handling system from DiRT Rally 2.0 as a base, improvements have been made to tarmac handling, force feedback, aerodynamic simulations, drivetrain inertia, progressive braking and much more.Incorporating feedback from professional rally drivers such as game designer and real-world European Rally Championship 3 winner Jon Armstrong, the team has produced a true-to-life handling model that will be appreciated by experienced players.

Driving Tools

For players unfamiliar to Rally that still want to get involved in the sport through EA Sports WRC, the game’s Dynamic Handling System is supplemented by a suite of tools and options to give those players a driving experience that matches their skill level.

Fine-tuning assist settings such as anti-lock braking and traction control, are accompanied by a choice between two different pace note systems.

In the real-world, drivers use a complex language of coded notes to accurately describe the road ahead. While this is faithfully recreated in-game, a simplified pace note system can break down the complex language of rallying to simple terms understandable for all players.

In addition, EA Sports WRC maintains the challenging yet approachable driving experience of DiRT Rally 2.0, where gamepad and keyboard players can feel just as confident on the roads as those with the most elaborate sim rigs.

Battle the Elements

As expected, with significant mechanical and physical differences between various rally classes, each car behaves differently. The modern all-wheel drive Rally1 and Rally2 cars are incredibly sophisticated, and have a distinctive feel compared to similar cars from the Group A and Group B eras.

Furthermore, For the first time in Codemasters rally history, players will tackle rallies across Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. The various climates and weather conditions introduce unique challenges. A drive through a hot Summer stage will feel very different to tackling the same roads in wet and snowy Winters.

Audio Improvements

Audio plays a huge factor in authenticity and this area of the game has had special attention from Codemasters’ acclaimed audio team. Drivers will hear every bump, scrape, gear change, and engine roar in incredible detail. High quality real-world recordings of modern and historic rally cars coupled with enhanced audio technology, help immerse players in the environment.

To enhance this experience during stage runs, co-driver and chief engineers will guide players throughout, offering valuable insight and coaching. Co-drivers recorded their pace notes on motion rigs in the Codemasters studio, so that their voices accurately represent the feeling of being in a real rally car. Plus, between events, familiar WRC names will analyse on-stage performances just like in real WRC broadcasts.

Vehicle Classes

With over 70 cars coming to the game at launch, players will have a wide range of options for rallying in EA Sports WRC. From the 2023 season, ten WRC, WRC 2, and Junior WRC vehicles are represented. From year’s past, 60 years of rally are represented from the sports humble two-wheel drive beginning to the brutal Group B era - 18 different classes feature. 

WRC Car List

  • Ford Puma Rally1 HYBRID
  • Hyundai i20 N Rally1 HYBRID
  • Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 HYBRID
WRC2 * Cars
  • Citroën C3 Rally2
  • Ford Fiesta Rally2
  • Hyundai i20 N Rally2
  • Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo
  • Škoda Fabia RS Rally2
  • Volkswagen Polo GTI R5
Junior WRC
  • Ford Fiesta Rally3
World Rally Cars 2017-2021
  • Ford Fiesta WRC
  • Volkswagen Polo 2017
World Rally Cars 1997-2011
  • Citroën C4 WRC
  • Citroën Xsara WRC
  • Ford Focus RS Rally 2001
  • Ford Focus RS Rally 2008
  • MINI Countryman Rally Edition
  • Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI
  • Peugeot 206 Rally
  • Seat Córdoba WRC
  • Škoda Fabia WRC
  • SUBARU Impreza 1998
  • SUBARU Impreza 2001
  • SUBARU Impreza 2008
Rally2 *
  • Ford Fiesta R5 MK7 Evo 2
  • Peugeot 208 T16 R5
Rally4 Cars
  • Ford Fiesta MK8 Rally4
  • Opel Adam R2
  • Peugeot 208 Rally4
  • Renault Twingo II
  • McRae R4
  • Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
  • Fiat Grande Punto Abarth S2000
  • Opel Corsa S2000
  • Peugeot 207 S2000
  • Citroën C2 Super 1600
  • Citroën Saxo Super 1600
  • Ford Puma S1600
  • Renault Clio S1600
F2 Kit Cars
  • Ford Escort Mk 6 Maxi
  • Peugeot 306 Maxi
  • Renault Maxi Mégane
  • Seat Ibiza Kit Car
  • Vauxhall Astra Rally Car
  • Volkswagen Golf IV Kit Car
Group A
  • Ford Escort RS Cosworth
  • Lancia Delta HF Integrale
  • Mitsubishi Galant VR4
  • SUBARU Impreza 1995
  • SUBARU Legacy RS
Group B (4WD) Car List
  • Audi Sport quattro S1 (E2)
  • Ford RS200
  • Lancia Delta S4
  • MG Metro 6R4
  • Peugeot 205 T16 Evo 2
Group B (RWD)
  • BMW M1 Procar Rally
  • Lancia 037 Evo 2
  • Opel Manta 400
  • Porsche 911 SC RS
H3 (RWD)
  • BMW M3 Evo Rally
  • Ford Escort MK2 McRae Motorsport
  • Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500
  • Lancia Stratos
  • Opel Ascona 400
  • Renault 5 Turbo
H2 (RWD)
  • Alpine Renault A110 1600 S
  • Fiat 131 Abarth Rally
  • Ford Escort MK2
  • Hillman Avenger
  • Opel Kadett C GT/E
  • Talbot Sunbeam Lotus
H2 (FWD)
  • Peugeot 205 GTI
  • Peugeot 309 GTI
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI
H1 (FWD)
  • Lancia Fulvia HF
  • MINI Cooper S
  • Vauxhall Nova Sport
Builder Cars
  • WRC Builder Car
  • WRC2 Builder Car *
  • Junior WRC Builder Car

* All WRC2 cars can compete in the Rally2 car class.

The introduction of Builder fulfils the dream of those longing to build their very own modern-era rally car. Select the chassis, body shells, and all-important mechanical parts before customising the interior and exterior, finally personalising with the livery editor. Put the car through its paces and make any necessary adjustments before competing for the World Championship against the best competition WRC has to offer.

EA Sports WRC brings fans together with 32 player cross-platform multiplayer, allowing for competition between friends and the wider rally community. Using EA Racenet, EA’s racing companion app, Clubs serve as community-built hubs offering custom multi-surface tournaments with rallying at any location and time of year. Alongside personalised events, Moments, updated daily in-game, give players the chance to relive pivotal scenarios from the 2023 season alongside classic events from the sport’s archives.

Everyone who pre-orders† EA Sports WRC will receive each of the five VIP Rally Passes that contain additional post-launch content, as well as three vanity packs consisting of liveries and apparel, and up to three days of early access starting October 31, 2023.

EA Sports WRC is coming to PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC (EA App, Epic Store, and Steam) on November 3, 2023.

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